Maybe Northern State freshman softball player Rachel Albright could be on fall standby for the Wolves’ football and soccer teams.
The California multi-sport standout proved in high school she can play both sports as well as softball.
As a sophomore, she kicked a 35-yard field goal for the La Salle High School (in Pasadena, Calif.) junior varsity football team. The next season, she was the starting kicker for the varsity team — ending up third on the team in scoring.
As a senior, Albright transferred to Pasadena High School where she focused on her softball career. The former soccer MVP won numerous softball honors, but her off-fields transcript is equally impressive. Her resume includes ROTC Naval Cadet, mentor to kids as an umpire and coach, and awards for her work in the classroom.
“We are very excited to have Rachel and the rest of our incoming class join our program this fall,” NSU softball coach Kristi Villar said of her new pitcher/outfielder, who also can swing the bat successfully. “Rachel’s work ethic and attitude will continue to build our softball program and help us compete in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.”
Albright found her way onto the NSU campus through former assistant softball coach Travis Owen. He found her via YouTube from softball videos that she had posted.
“Honestly, although I never planned to attend college in California, I never thought I would end up going to school in South Dakota,” Albright said. “I was focusing on schools in Tennessee and more in the southeast, but I’m a firm believer in things happening for a reason.”
It did not take long for Albright to fall in love with NSU after making the 1,661-mile trip to Aberdeen to visit the campus with her mom.
“I fell in love with the girls on the team, the size of the campus and the availability of the faculty here,” Albright said. “The community support of the school is amazing at Northern and just the overall experience I had — everyone was super nice. We had a chance to see some games and I felt really comfortable with the softball program and the NSIC as a conference. I’m excited to be a part of the NSU community.”
One of our new friends at the American News is Kevin DeVries. He is the new Northern State director of athletic communications and technology and is the person who shared the above story with us.
DeVries, 27, spent last season working in the sports information at Murray, Ky., State University. Prior to his time in Kentucky, DeVries spent two years as the assistant media relations director at Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, where he also received his master’s degree in athletic administration. Before Northwest, DeVries was the interim sports information director at his alma mater, Waldorf College in his hometown of Forest City, Iowa.
I have been gone for a while, but here are some things that I know:
- After doing the road games last season, Dakota Broadcasting Radio (KABD 107.7 FM) sports director Adam St. Paul will be calling all of the Aberdeen Wings games this season.
- Wings’ list of firsts for 2013-14: training camp opens Aug. 28; first practice on ice is Sunday, Sept. 1; first game is 4:45 p.m. vs. Janesville, Wis., Jets in Blaine, Minn.; and first home game 7:15 p.m. Sept. 28 vs. Brookings.
- Next year’s Brown County Fair is Aug. 11-17.
- I was blessed to witness the 125th anniversary Sunday service at Immanuel Lutheran Church at Wecota on Aug. 11. Another blessing was to hear the amazing musical talents of the church. Especially impressive was Faulkton High School student John Cassens. This young man has mad musical skills! What a voice, what a talent. And his younger brother, Chris Cassens, was equally impressive.
- A new portion of the Aberdeen bicycling/running/walking path recently opened north of 24th Avenue Northeast (Fairgrounds Road) about half a mile west of Roosevelt Street. Part of that new path was open earlier this year, but it has been completed. The nearly two-mile addition (up and back) is a fun ride.
John Papendick is the managing news-sports editor for the American News: jpapendick@ aberdeennews.com.